Good nutrition and why you need to know about it
Written by: Sarah Smalbro, certified dietician, personal trainer and running coach
It's stuff that fuels us. Gas to our engine. If we see ourselves as a vehicle that needs gas, we will also know that it is not only important that we fill the engine with gas, but also the right kind. Everyone should know about the vital fuel that is our nutrition since we are all dependent on the ability to use our body.
It is important to have sufficient energy for your training if you want the best results. If we eat too little, we break down our body instead of making it stronger. In reality the body works in a simple way: if we consume less energy than what we are using, we will lose weight, and if we do the opposite, we will gain weight. When our energy use is equivalent to our energy consumption, we will keep a stable weight and be in balance. However, it can be very difficult to assess how much energy your body needs. Our hunger and satiety will often times guide us well, but many times this won’t be enough. Many athletes will be so physically active that they cannot consume enough if they only eat according to their hunger. The same goes for satiety where for some people, this may be harder to register.
It is therefore important that you know about good nutrition so that you do not risk eating too little. If you get the right nutrition, you are able to get great training results. Likewise, knowing about nutrition will also make you aware of not eating too much and overtime gain unnecessary kilos, that are non-beneficial to your active lifestyle.
It is important that you know about good nutrition and diet so that you get the right kind of energy through your diet. This is vital for both restitution and a healthy body. You not only need to think about getting all macronutrients- such as fat, protein and carbohydrates- you also need to have the correct distribution, and healthy, nourishing foods that contain fibres, vitamins and minerals.
There are proteins that are essential for your body, which the body does not produce on its own and therefore you can only get these through your diet. If we do not consume these, the muscles in our body will not be built up and your restitution may be negatively affected. The same goes for essential fats that are needed for vital processes in the body. Lastly, and perhaps most relevant for the physically active man or woman, the body’s most important energy source is carbohydrates which you should focus on consuming both before, perhaps even during and after a training session. Here, both amount and type of carbohydrates are important for the optimal benefit of the workout. There are several formulas to calculate how many grams carbohydrates you need before, during and after training. A general rule when training is that the simple carbohydrates are the most beneficial for your body.
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